Mar 16, 2010

Bloody-minded promises in Bangkok’s sea of red

There will be blood in Thailand, with protesters from the Red Shirt movement preparing to donate their blood and then throw it on Government House. The tension belies a largely carnival atmosphere, writes Simon Roughneen from Bangkok.

On Monday two Thai Army personnel were injured by 4 M79 grenades fired at camp on the outskirts of Bangkok, though no political motive has been ascribed yet. Red Shirt leader Jatuphon Promphan told the Thai government the demonstrators will spill their blood tomorrow — a gesture to seek the dissolution of the current government, which they regard as illegitimate.

However, the Red Shirts have pledged a peaceful demonstration, and do not intend a World War I-style “blood sacrifice” by hurling themselves in some suicidal assault on the Thai security forces. As Crikey went to press, at about 8am Thailand time, some of the estimated 10,0000-plus protesters will give blood to a 1000-litre “donation”, which the Reds intend to throw all over Government House if the current administration refuses accede to their demands.

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4 thoughts on “Bloody-minded promises in Bangkok’s sea of red

  1. Jean

    Not sure who is spinning the international media on this story, but someone is doing a great job.
    TV reports, every press mention I have seen, talk about “anti-government demonstrators”, which implies to me that these are dangerous folks, who really should do what Thailand’s military-backed government tells them to, and stop complaining.

    Just for fun, how about replacing the phrase “anti-government demonstrators” with “pro-democracy activists” ?

  2. Bogdanovist

    Jean, I don’t profess to know very much about Thai politics, but I do remember recently that the ‘yellow shirts’ held a large disruptive protest of there own. They would also claim to be ‘pro-democracy activists’ even if they are supports of the current (elected) government.

    “anti-government demonstrators” is a neutral and descriptive term, whereas pro-democracy would not be.

    As I say, I have no idea or opinion about whether the current government is more or less democratic or corrupt than Thaksin Shinawatra’s was. You clearly seem to, but then to phrase it the way you want would require the media to spin it the way you want.

  3. klewso

    What did Shinawatra, in his position, with all his “accumulated” wealth, ever do for the rural poor and less educated, that he’s now using to disrupt the country, so he can get back in?
    And what did he do with the proceeds from the sale of the countries “telstra” to a foreign entity but pocket the procedes or channel them to his family? And there was the list of his institutionalised nepotism.
    Hasn’t he been found guilty of a crime by the courts of Thailand? Besides the feezing of assets, isn’t there 2 years to be served in the poky, “when he comes back home”?
    He wants to get back because he “forgot” something?

  4. green-orange

    No, the current government was not ‘elected’, it was installed by the King.

    Yes, there was a large, rowdy and violent demostration by the ‘yellow shirts’, yet the army didn’t arrest any of them, only a few ‘red shirts’ who were attacked – funny that !

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